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Manics Monday - South Wales Echo, 11th December 2004

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ARTICLES:2004



Title: Manics Monday
Publication: South Wales Echo
Date: Saturday 11th December 2004


The Manic Street Preachers are back with a new album and new guitarist. And on Monday they play Cardiff International Arena.

The band launched their latest tour in Brighton on Monday with a second guitarist, Abbey Road recording engineer Guy Massey, playing in the background - the first time since Richey Edwards disappeared almost 10 years ago.

It's also been almost a decade since the Manics released The Holy Bible, the last album with Richey and the critics' favourite.

Fans can expect tracks from The Holy Bible, which has been re-released in a 10th anniversary, three-disc edition, as well the latest album Lifeblood and all the Manics' hits.

But do the Manics still stir the same passion in their fans as they did a decade ago? Radio 1 DJ Bethan Elfyn turns back the clock to the early 1990s when she was an original feather boa-wearing fan...

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER THE MANICS?
"It was around 1990, 1991 when I was really into them. I was still a teenager in school at Llanfair Caereinion School near Welshpool and I was into Select magazine at the time. They were the first band who talked about growing up in a dead-end town and the whole alcoholic binge-drinking mentality. And I could identify with them. They talked about alienation and, coming from north Powys, I felt the same. I remember around the same time my sister was in college in Cardiff and I dragged her along to see them live, which was an adventure."

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST MANICS RECORD?
"I bought Generation Terrorists on gatefold vinyl from my local Rainbow Records in Welshpool. It was very punk and noisy compared to what the other people in my school were listening to. They were mostly into their Now That's What I Call Music compilations."

HAVE YOU EVER MET THEM?
"When I was in college in Cardiff a couple of years later I met Richey and James in Metros nightclub. I went up to talk to them and ended up waffling to Richey for most of the night about books and films and trying to be intellectual. He was an interesting person. When I first interviewed James for Radio 1 before the Millennium gig I was nervous. I didn't admit to being a big fan, it was all bravado on my part."

WAS THE HOLY BIBLE THE IMPORTANT ALBUM FOR YOU?
"It was the critics' choice, but not my favourite. I only bought it a couple of years ago. For me I had a long period when I wasn't as passionate about them and only discovered it years later. For me, Generation Terrorists was always my favourite album and always will be, although I've really enjoyed their new album Lifeblood. It's a real grower and Empty Souls is an amazing track. I can't wait to see them play it live."

WILL YOU BE GOING TO SEE THEM ON MONDAY?
"Yes, I'll be there on Monday. I always keep a keen eye on what they're doing. And I think I'll always go to their gigs, but the passion has cooled a bit. At the Millennium gig I realised they were the band that mapped my whole career and were the first band that broke boundaries for Welsh bands."